The wild scandals of NYC’s elite prep college scene
The teenager drama collection “Gossip Woman” shone gentle on the attractive scandals and lavish life of Manhattan’s elite prep colleges when it premiered in 2007.
However for Higher East Aspect native Wil Glavin, who was on the verge of highschool on the time, it barely scratched the floor.
“‘Gossip Woman’ didn’t go far sufficient. They needed to maintain it extra PG-13,” mentioned Glavin, who simply self-published a novel, “The Venerable Vincent Beattie,” based mostly on his personal tween and teenage years at posh prep colleges. “My e book is extra R-rated.”
Glavin, who began writing the tome in January 2019 and completed it after being furloughed from his assistant job at Marvel Leisure, used his alma maters as inspiration: Buckley, the all-boys academy on East 73rd Avenue attended by Roosevelt and Rockefeller scions; and the co-ed Columbia Grammar and Preparatory College on the Higher West Aspect, the place celeb alums embrace Herman Melville, ex-Time Warner CEO Steven Jay Ross and actress Ally Sheedy. Gov. Andrew Cuomo spoke at Columbia Prep’s 2017 commencement; Barron Trump was enrolled there till his transfer to Washington.
A self-described introvert, Glavin mentioned his protagonist is “a extra excessive model” of him, however Vincent’s journey via the wild world of New York Metropolis’s prestigious non-public colleges relies on Glavin’s actual life.
“Lots of tales I obtained have been simply from listening to gossip within the scholar lounge for 4 years,” Glavin informed The Put up.
His mother and father, a bond salesman and a stay-at-home mom-turned-marketing government, have been disciplinarians when Glavin was youthful.
“My academics have been very strict, and my coaches have been very strict,” mentioned Glavin, a 2016 Tufts graduate. “Elbows off the desk, chew together with your mouth closed. I took etiquette lessons … Individuals would all the time ask me if I had a army background as a result of I’m so inflexible.”
His sheltered upbringing led to shock on the social scene he noticed as he grew up amongst a well-heeled set.
First got here over-the-top bar and bat mitzvahs — Ciara carried out at one, Glavin mentioned, and Sean Paul at one other. Later, there have been the city equal of home events, which at their most excessive featured onerous alcohol and medicines like pot and cocaine.
“In Manhattan, they’re residence events or penthouse events,” mentioned Glavin, who set a scene in “Vincent Beattie” at a very debauched one. “There are individuals hooking up on couches, and they’re ingesting and smoking cigarettes out the window. And these are the nicest flats in New York Metropolis, with $30,000 tables and $100,000 chandeliers.”
Not everybody took half in these shenanigans. Glavin was a visitor at a handful of such soirees, however took his first drink as a highschool senior and has by no means tried medicine.
“I’m glad I used to be in a position to go to as many issues as I did, as a result of it gave me much more materials and ammunition,” he mentioned including that solely a small proportion of individuals he knew have been excessive or harmful partiers.
“These mother and father would say, ‘Don’t do something I wouldn’t do,’ and so they closed the door,” he added. “The homes could be stocked with good alcohol and champagne, and other people performed beer pong. It was so loopy to me.”
Flagrant spending by some classmates additionally went largely unchecked.
“Youngsters had their very own bank cards and spent ridiculous quantities on events or alcohol or touring,” Glavin mentioned, including that some purchased faux IDs for clubbing and there usually was “subsequent to zero supervision.” “Women and guys would go to Madison Avenue [to shop] throughout a free interval, going to any restaurant and never even caring how costly sure issues are. The cash wasn’t theirs, so that they spent no matter they needed.”
Indicators of wealth cropped up in small methods, dividing the mere haves from the have-a-lots. Some college students, for instance, had private chauffeurs.
“I all the time have that picture of strolling out to Central Park West [by Columbia Prep] and seeing 5 – 6 blocks straight, lined with black or white Escalades,” he mentioned.
A spotlight of the non-public college occasion circuit occurred over spring break, when seniors from completely different colleges organized a visit to Paradise Island within the Bahamas. About 35 to 40 children per college, Glavin mentioned, flew down for the week.
“No chaperones, no academics and no mother and father. It will get so insane down there as a result of the ingesting age is eighteen,” mentioned Glavin, who added it price between $1,500 and $1,800 per particular person for 5 nights at Atlantis, an all-inclusive resort. “We’d get to the airport, and other people would simply purchase handles and drink their faces off of their lodge room. There have been nightclub events each evening.”
Glavin, who tagged alongside like “a fly on the wall” as a result of his mother and father loosened up following their separation when he was 14 (and even paid for him to go to the Bahamas), penned two juicy chapters in regards to the annual hedonistic underage getaway.
He mentioned he thinks “mother and father again dwelling understood what was happening to an extent. They knew they have been ingesting and having intercourse, and nobody appeared to care or thoughts. There was a ‘boys might be boys’ and ‘women might be women’ mentality.”
There was a scarcity of penalties for college students who did break guidelines, Glavin mentioned, partly as a result of mother and father have been usually not round to implement punishments as a result of they have been working or touring.
“In the event you’re getting grounded by mother and father, and so they occur to be abroad, or they’re working till 11 p.m., it by no means appeared to stop individuals from going out,” he mentioned. “They’d say, ‘My mother and father are actually pissed at me, and so they threatened to remove my bank card.’ ”
Even when Mother and Dad occurred to be dwelling, there have been ever-present housekeepers, resulting in some inventive romantic trysts and “plenty of Central Park hookups,” Glavin mentioned.
“You’d ask your buddy, ‘In case your mother and father aren’t dwelling, can we go use [your apartment] for half-hour or use it for an hour? Do you may have siblings? Do you may have a dependable doorman who received’t tattle on you or received’t inform your mother and father?,’ ” he mentioned. “In a uncommon case, in case you are very well-off, there’s getting a lodge room, however that wouldn’t occur till you’re 18 or so.”
The privileged practices of a selective New York Metropolis enclave are laid naked in his e book, Glavin mentioned, which might permit a a lot wider viewers to understand them.
“I hope it helps the introvert, helps the loner, helps the one that doesn’t really feel like they slot in,” he mentioned. “It’s relatable for present highschool and faculty college students, it’s nostalgic for individuals post-college, and for folks and academics, it’s informative. It’s like, ‘Wow, I had no thought it was like this.’ “
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